Argentina Should Stick with Sabella as Coach Rather Than Martino

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Argentina Should Stick with Sabella as Coach Rather Than Martino
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

He may be Argentina's most successful manager in 24 years, but there is no guarantee Alejandro Sabella will remain in his role with the national team post-World Cup.

According to Argentine sports daily Ole (Spanish language), former Barcelona and Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino has been linked with the post, but it would make more sense for Sabella to remain in order to continue to build on what he achieved in Brazil.

"The Sloth" led his national team to the World Cup final, which is further than any Argentina side has made it since Italia 90. 

The team never really lit up the tournament, but using a strong defence as their base, they battled their way to the final thanks to a few moments of brilliance from Lionel Messi, and some key contributions from the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Romero.

The pragmatic Sabella was a change from previous managers, such as Diego Maradona, Jose Pekerman and Marcelo Bielsa, who favoured a more attacking approach.

None of those men could take La Albiceleste past the quarter-finals of the World Cup, however, which shows Sabella was the right man for the job at this time.

He also guided them to first place in the South American qualifying table and has been praised for constructing a side that allowed Lionel Messi to perform at his best.

It came as some surprise, then, when on the eve of the final, Sabella's agent told FM Delta, as reported by Sportal, that the manager would be stepping down after the conclusion of the tournament.

The agent, Eugenio Lopez, said:

Whatever happens, Alejandro Sabella will not continue in the selection.

Alejandro dreamed all his life of this.

Sabella gave what he had to give in the selection and it is time to give rise to another.

According to Ole, however, the manager has not yet confirmed his departure. Rather, he is taking some time to rest and think about his decision. Ole also speculates that Gerardo Martino is one of the favourites to take over the role should Sabella stand down. 

In fact, the vice president of the Paraguayan football association fueled the Martino rumours when he was asked if that association was considering him to take over their national team for a second stint.

Ole reports that Federico Acosta told Argentinean radio station AM 730 that the ex-Newell's Old Boys man was unavailable because he would soon be in charge of Argentina.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Whether the Martino rumours are true or not, it seems clear that the best course of action for the Argentine football association would be to maintain its course and keep faith in Sabella.

Some time in the future, Martino or someone else such as Diego Simeone might be the best option for La Albiceleste, but at present, the most important thing is continuity, which is something that has not existed since Pekerman left in 2006.

Sabella has not been without flaws as a coach, but in general, his attitude has been right and the results under his reign have been excellent.

To start from scratch now would be a mistake.

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